- Dumela 113 has its beginnings in a number of places—namely, Chris Saunders film Ghost Diamond, the Studio113 art space in Johannesburg and Sebenza, the excellent 2012 album from LV and South African MC Okmalumkoolkat. These connections are all intertwined and equally important, but above all they resulted in the meeting of Londoner Gervase Gordon and South African artist Manthe Ribane. Hyperdub fans will remember Gordon from his time in LV; Sebenza was his last record with them, and he's now reemerged as solo producer OKZharp. Ribane has a more eclectic CV: she helps run Studio113, toured as a dancer with Die Antwoord, works as a model, stylist, choreographer—the list goes on. Dumela 113, however, is the first time she's sang on a record, and her presence is vital to the EP's sound.
There's a glossy futurism to Dumela 113, from the chrome-slick drums to the HD digi-synths to Ribane's warbling, expressionless autotune. On "Dear Ribane" and "Sizzr" you can hear a quiet smile behind every word, English or Tswana. And each rhythm, cold and calculated as it may be, feels eager to jump into a double-time gallop.
"Sizzr" opens with no beats and plenty of sub-bass, and when Gordon drops a massive, skipping rhythm under Ribane's robotic coos it calmly takes off. With jumping, smacking percussion, "Fede" is less interested in playing it cool. Closer "Glonet" is an instrumental track with no lack of flair. Gordon flexes a handful of synth tones over the sub-busting beat, flipping from rhythmic FX to variations on a staccato melody. It's engaging and big enough to go down well in the right set, and shows OKZharp can get the job done without a vocalist. That said, Ribane's absence doesn't go unnoticed, which only underscores how much these two belong together.
A1 Dear Ribane feat. Manthe
A2 Sizzr feat. Manthe
B1 Fede feat. Manthe